BEE A bee in his bonn… oh, shut up!
Cyril Ramaphosa may be the Darling of Business and South Africa’s Next Best Hope, but he didn’t get to where he is right now by cosying up to capital. Well, ok, yes, he did. In fact, he is capital. But he still has stern words for those businesses where inequality is rampant, even when he is addressing attendees at the inaugural Employment Equity Awards, won by the SABC in the public sector and our own, dear Pick n Pay in the private. Look to the example of PPC Cement, he thundered from the rostrum, whose CEO in 2004 took a R1million cut in his pay and froze the salaries of his executives in order to do the right thing by the 1,200 poorest employees. Or the example of the current honorees, who, he said had “grappled with these challenges and… succeeded. For them transformation has become an essential part of their being.”
Comment: Strong stuff, but still sadly necessary. It is a constant mystery to us how otherwise well-run businesses have such a blind spot when it comes to the composition of their leadership.